“I thought the whole experience was awesome,” said Topper in a text to the Bay Area News Group. “The race was difficult and humbling, but also real cool.”
Peattie, a junior, placed 22nd with a time of 15 minutes, 49.1 seconds for the hilly 3.1-mile course at Balboa Park under partly cloudy skies. Topper, also a junior, was 30th in 16:09.5.
Peattie said that the super-fast field provided a lot of pressure, and the course was very difficult. But he also said, “Overall, the experience at Foot Locker is awesome,” noting how himself and Topper got to know runners from all over the country. All the athletes arrived in San Diego on Thursday, so they were able to spend a lot of time together before the races.
The boys race was very unique in that all 40 of the participants in the race were within three seconds of each other approximately three minutes into the race.
“It was a weird feeling,” said Peattie about the beginning portion of the race. “I’m not really used to running with a whole group of kids around me.”
Peattie was 35th at the half-mile mark (2:18.2), but moved up substantially to 23rd (4:50.3) at the mile mark. Likewise, Topper was 39th at the half-mile mark (2:19.9), but was 33rd by the mile mark (4:51.3). Both runners passed the two-mile mark between approximately 10:00 and 10:10.
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“It got really hard after the mile,” Topper said. “We ran two loops (in the race) and they included some hills, but the major hill was at one mile and 2.5 miles. At 2.5 miles, it’s basically a wall.”
Peattie had a good kick at the finish, holding off Davin Thompson of Skyridge High School in Lehi-Ut. (23rd, 15:49.8). Topper held off four runners who finished within 4.9 seconds behind him. Peattie was the No. 5 scorer on the West team and beat Mateo Althouse of Portland (27th, 15:58.6), who won the Foot Locker West Regional on Dec. 7 at Mt. San Antonio College.
At Saturday’s nationals, Josh Methner of Hersey High School in Mount Prospect, Il. ran an outstanding race to win by eight seconds in 15:08.8. In the girls race, Zofia Dudek of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School-Mi. won the girls race in 16:45.0.